Archive for March 2014

Update: Password recovery service for students

In response to a large number of student password reset queries at the Helpdesk, we launched a new service in April 2013 in which students would be able to reset their own password easily and remotely.

At the start of the 2012/2013 Academic Year, approximately 430 students contacted the Helpdesk for password help.  With the implementation of this password reset service, the Helpdesk saw a 43% reduction of password queries at the start of the 2013/2014 Academic Year.

In January 2014, there were just 91 password-related queries.  That is a reduction of 46% from January 2013.

If you’re interested in using the service, the only thing you’ll need to do right now is sign-up with your mobile phone number and, optionally, an alternative email address. The options to sign-up for the service, and to use it if you forget your password, can be found at mypassword.tcd.ie.

Update: College web server upgrade

Over the last month, the infrastructure for the main College web server was upgraded from a single server to a multi-server configuration.  This work also included upgrading all applications running on the web server.

This upgrade provides greatly improved functionality and processing speeds for those accessing College webpages and will reduce future disruptions for College web authors.

IS Services Satifaction Survey & Results: What matters to you in IT

From the School of English to the School of Medicine, to Human Resources to Accommodation and Catering Services, technology can benefit and assist all areas of College. With this in mind, IS Services launched our third annual Satisfaction Survey in January 2014.

The survey was primarily to help us find out how staff and students rate the IT services in Trinity, and to give you an influential voice in shaping and prioritising our continual service improvement programme.

The complete results will be published to our website in the coming weeks.   In the meantime, please see the last page of this newsletter for a few key facts & figures from the findings.

The top three most valuable services as rated by staff and students are as follows: Staff – 1) Helpdesk, 2) wired network, 3) email and calendar;  Students – 1) Wi-Fi network, 2) MyZone email and calendar, 3) wired network.

The majority of staff mainly use the wired network in College, with 86% satisfied with the service.  The majority of students mainly use the Wi-Fi network in College with 67% of students satisfied.

92% of staff and 95% of students were satisfied with the reliability of email and calendar services.

88% of staff were satisfied with the time it took the Helpdesk to respond to their IT query. While 73% of students were satisfied with the ease with which they could get to speak to someone at the Helpdesk.

All participants could enter the survey prize draw. The prize draw winner is Danielle Bruen, a student in in the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.

As always, the feedback will be invaluable in assisting us to improve the services we offer and we wish to thank all who took time to participate in this year’s satisfaction survey.

Another reason to consider data encryption for your College-owned computer or device

In February 2012, it was reported by the Business Post and Irish Examiner, that Eircom experienced a data breach of security that affected nearly 7,000 eMobile and Meteor customers.

The data breach was caused by three stolen Eircom laptops which were not encrypted.  The personal and financial information of nearly 550 customers was ‘at risk’.

In August 2013, it was reported that dozens of HSE laptops, USB sticks, and smartphones with sensitive, unencrypted files were lost or stolen between January 2009 and December 2012.  In this instance, personal data includes details such as a customer’s name, address, and telephone number, as well as the personal information of HSE staff.

The shocking bit of these two stories is that breaches happen so often that it’s not shocking anymore.  This is why we are urging staff and students who use College-owned laptops or devices to consider data encryption. 

It could happen to anyone: you’re on your way home on the bus after a long day, you put the laptop down at your feet, your stop comes, you get up and forget the laptop.  All of the data on your laptop is now at risk.  Unless of course, the data was encrypted.

The College data encryption service, Check Point, fully encrypts the entire hard disk and all data including the operating system.  It is easy to use and is vital to the security and protection of sensitive data.

If you’re interested in learning more, please see our page on the Check Point laptop encryption service.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of IT Security Week 2014

While IT security might be the last thing on your mind when online or using your phone or tablet, it is a topic that will always affect you, whether directly or indirectly.  With this in mind,  IS Services and the College IT Security Officer have   developed a week specifically devoted to IT security.

Our aim with IT Security Week is to offer tips and guidance to keep staff and students proactive, rather than reactive, where IT security is concerned.

During February 2014, we hosted our  second annual IT Security Week. Topics covered included advice on choosing secure passwords, guidance on how to identify scams and phising emails in your inbox, as well as information on staying secure on the internet and when using mobile devices.

In case you missed IT Security Week, here is a summary (along with links to the full articles posted each day) of what was covered:

MONDAYIs your password on the list of worst Internet Passwords?  A recent report has revealed the Internet’s most commonly used and therefore ‘worst’ passwords.  This article covers some tips on creating a strong, safe and reliable password.

TUESDAYSpam, Scams and Phishing emails  At the start of this academic year, we saw a significant increase in the number of ‘spear’ phishing attacks on College.  Both staff and students are generally very good at spotting a phishing message.  However, a good phishing attack can catch out the best of us.  This article advises on how to be alert to the possibility of scams and fraud online and in your inbox.

WEDNESDAYStay secure and protect your privacy online The Internet can be a dangerous place with viruses, malware and spyware lurking at every click! This article is a checklist of ways to keep your computing devices and your important personal information properly protected.

THURSDAYCloud computing & security  This article explains what you need to know about ‘the cloud’ and how to keep your personal information safe within ‘the cloud’.  You can read about cloud computing at TCD in our December 2013 enews, but the chances that you are already using some form of cloud computing yourself  are very high.

FRIDAY Phones & Tablets: Mobile Device Security 101  Smartphones and tablets are essentially mobile computers; they allow you to access the internet and email, download applications and games, store photos, videos and your personal information.  This article provides valuable information on protecting and securing your phone or tablet just as you would protect your laptop or computer.

We also set up a stand in the Arts Building to provide staff and students with the opportunity to speak directly to the College IT Security Officer.  Questions ranged from ‘what am I being made secure from?’ to ‘how secure is the College system?’

We hope that IT Security Week has raised awareness and provided some guidance to keeping you safe online.  The Helpdesk, IS Services website and Twitter, as well as the TCD IT Security website are invaluable resources that can be used throughout the year to assist with any questions you might have.

HPRC walk-in workshop for students and research staff, 7th March

High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) is hosting a walk-in workshop this Friday, 7th March from 12pm to 1pm, in Room 2.12 Lloyd Building.

Staff will be on-hand to discuss any research or IT-related topics with students and research staff who may need to avail of HPRC services. This workshop is designed to provide help and takes places in an informal setting; we have tea and light refreshments (read: tea/coffee/biscuits).

For more details see the HPRC website.

Short IT training courses for staff and postgrads

The IS Services Schedule of IT Training Courses for April – June 2014 are available for bookings now at http://isservices.tcd.ie/training/

Courses are available in a wide range of areas including:

•             Planning Thesis Production Using MS Word

•             Data Processing Using Excel

•             Data Management Using Access

•             Maintaining College Websites

•             Photoshop

•             Effective Presentations Using PowerPoint

•             Online Surveys using Survey Monkey.

The number of places on these courses is limited so early booking via our website is advised.

Latest SPSS news March 2014

For those of you who use SPSS, you may be interested in news from Presidion. Please see the latest from them here: http://www.presidion.rsvp1.com/ezine/2014/40_MAR14/ezine.htm

 

Latest news on Audio Visual equipment upgrades

Inside the classroom, teaching tools are rapidly developing and we are ensuring that academic staff has the best presentation tools and access to latest teaching technology.

Here is the latest news from our Audio Visual equipment upgrades:

Davis Theatre
Davis Theatre screen was replaced over the Christmas holidays.  As well, a new BluRay Player and new switching equipment has been installed since the start of the Hilary Term.

Arts Building, Room 3131
New projection and recording equipment has been installed.

Áras an Phiarsaigh, Rooms 2.04, 3.126, 3.19, 4.03
Scheduled improvement works are to take place in the coming weeks which will include the installation of new projectors and screens. As well, in Room 3.19, we are installing a second screen to improve visibility in the room.

Joly Theatre
New switching equipment will be installed in the coming weeks, along with a new BluRay player.

Burke Theatre
Due for a big upgrade in April, the Burke will have a new teaching desk and lectern.

Upon completion of the upgrade work in the Burke Theatre, the Audio Visual equipment upgrade works for the 2013/2014 Academic Year will be complete.

A recent change to the MyZone ‘sign in’ page

Your MyZone ‘sign in’ page might look different these days. This is due to a recent change that Google has made to all of their ‘sign in’ pages.

Mostly, this means that you will now need to sign in with your full email address, i.e., username@tcd.ie.